The future of our oceans is in the hands of the next generation of anglers and conservationists. The BTT Youth Ambassador Program was created to recognize outstanding young leaders in flats fishing and conservation. The program has grown in the last months, welcoming six new ambassadors, and we are excited to introduce them to you!
This seventeen-year old from Georgia grew up in a household of anglers and outdoorsmen, but it’s not the thrill of an incredible catch that keeps Shep coming back — it’s the vitality of the natural world around him. He is an active member of his high school’s Rod and Gun Club and Environmental Club and is passionate about the conservation of our natural resources and spreading environmental awareness. A lover of fresh and saltwater alike, Shep’s favorite species to pursue are tarpon and trout.
Jack is a fourteen year-old student from Florida. Taught by his father to fish from a young age, Jack enjoys casting a line anywhere from small ponds to the Gulf of Mexico. He is involved in his school’s Outdoors Club and the lacrosse and hockey teams, and joins some of our other Youth Ambassadors at the Fish For Change program. Jack is an avid angler and fierce protector of wildlife, sharing that he is looking forward to helping to replant mangrove forests in the Bahamas destroyed by Hurricane Dorian.
If you blink, you might miss her! Patsy is a non-stop sixteen year-old from Southern California. When she isn’t at school she is either fishing, reading, modeling or training for her tennis career. Having grown up working in her parents’ fishing lodge in a remote part of New Zealand, Patsy feels a deep connection with nature and has been casting lines since she was a small child. Even in the midst of her busy schedule she always finds a way to spend some time on the water, where her favorite species to fish for are tarpon, permit and giant trevally.
Fourteen year-old Cash joins his older sister, Patsy, as a new Youth Ambassador from Southern California. In his free time, Cash enjoys mountain biking, playing tennis, practicing photography and casting a line for bonefish, trout and giant trevally. Cash has had the opportunity to fish all over the world, including New Zealand, the Caribbean and several countries in South America, and shares that this has instilled in him a sense of environmental responsibility. Volunteering with McKenzie River Trust — a local land trust founded to protect critical habitat and scenic lands in the McKenzie basin — Cash has learned the importance of the protection of our natural resources and is excited to represent youth in conservation as a new BTT Youth Ambassador.
A young angler wise beyond his years, Olsen is a fifteen year-old Floridian who is striving to protect our fisheries for generations to come. This commitment to our waters stems from his family’s background in fishing, having been taught to fish by his father and grandfather when he was very young. If you can’t find Olsen on the sports field or in his automotive class, you may catch him in Tampa Bay pursuing tarpon, snook or sharks. Olsen is looking forward to helping other young anglers learn how to conserve our natural world and enjoy the flats to the fullest.
The youngest of our new Youth Ambassadors, Jagger is a sixth grade student from Fort Lauderdale. He is an avid baseball player, participating on three different youth teams, and is an honors student at his school. However, Jagger adds, he does still find time to fish several times each week — both salt and fresh water. Taught to fish by his father who told him to always leave a place more beautiful than he found it, Jagger has seen first-hand how young anglers can help our planet. As a Youth Ambassador he hopes to encourage other kids to pick up after themselves and others so that “we can begin to make a difference, no matter how small.”
Do you know an impressive young angler or conservationist? Encourage them to apply for our BTT Youth Ambassador Program today!